Take Kevin Alexander, MD, for instance. Alexander, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine, is using a KL2 award to support his research to understand the metabolic signature of transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis to identify novel treatment options.
“The KL2 has been the foundation for me to transition from a trainee to an independent investigator. It helps me have the protected time to pursue my research as well as grow my research team. Coupled with that, the KL2 has a lot of coursework and seminars that have helped me learn how to write grants and papers as well as lab management strategies,” he says.
Alexander encourages young researchers to attend the RMG training sessions prior to applying for their first NIH grant.
“The nuances of writing the administrative sections are going to be new, and it's important to become familiar with them. Also, it will help down the road because you can use these skills when you apply for R-level and other NIH grants.”
Margie Corbett, research administration director of the RMG, agrees.
“It is a complicated process,” she says. “You’re not only dealing with the technical sections of the proposal, but you're also having to address administrative details pertaining to the project and to Stanford. Research administration has its own vocabulary, and applicants are required to use an NIH portal for the entire proposal submission. First time applicants are always surprised by the complexity of the proposal development process. The class is designed to demystify the process and get applicants off on the right foot.”
Ami S. Bhatt, MD, associate professor of hematology and genetics, recalls the first time she applied for a big NIH grant and how intimidating it was.
“There are a lot of features of the proposal beyond just the research component. And it's incredibly helpful to have guidance from experts on how to complete the administrative requirements for a K award proposal. It’s also extremely beneficial to have guidance and input on many of the career development aspects of the proposal, both in terms of how to write them and also how to access some of the great career development opportunities that we have here at Stanford,” she points out.